Shoulder Elbow Surg 2002 May-Jun;11(3):219-24
A comparison of clinical estimation, ultrasonography, magnetic resonance imaging, and arthroscopy in determining the size of rotator cuff tears.
Bryant L, Shnier R, Bryant C, Murrell GA.
George Hospital Campus, University of New South Wales, Sydney and Sydney
Imaging Group, St George Private Hospital, Sydney, Australia.
prospective study was undertaken to compare the ability of clinical
estimation, diagnostic ultrasonography, magnetic resonance imaging, and
arthroscopy to estimate the size of rotator cuff tears. Estimates of rotator
cuff tear size were compared with the findings at open operation in 33
consecutive patients with a presumptive diagnosis of rotator cuff tear.
Arthroscopy estimates of rotator cuff tear size correlated best with actual
tear size (Pearson correlation coefficient r = 0.92; P <.001). Magnetic
resonance imaging (r = 0.74; P <.001) was similar to ultrasonography (r =
0.73; P <.001). Estimates of rotator cuff tear size after clinical
assessment alone had weaker correlation coefficients (r = 0.41; P =.02) than
the other methods. Each method underestimated rotator cuff tear size by 12%,
30%, 33%, and 38%, respectively. No method was able to determine the size of
partial-thickness rotator cuff tears (r < 0.02).